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Topic: trying to figure out the printed postage option

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Subject: trying to figure out the printed postage option
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 9:56 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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i am a bit confused by the printed postage option.  


first, it seems that it is MORE expensive to print postage.  is this true? 


also, you can get your credits faster if you print postage from pbs?  Is this also true?  and how does that prevent someone from simply printing the postage and no sending the books?  


i have more Q's but ill try to figure them out first before posting.




rach (the newbie)

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 10:14 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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Hi there!

When you use PBS postage, you do pay a small fee.  So yes, it is more expensive than using stamps or going to the PO.  However, when you do use it and click that you've mailed the book, you instantly get a credit!

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 10:21 AM ET
Member Since: 2/28/2007
Posts: 2,164
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Also, that small fee is a way to support the site because it is otherwise free to use!

ETA:  "and how does that prevent someone from simply printing the postage and no sending the books?"

There's really no way to prevent this, however, you would think that if the person already paid for the postage, they'd go ahead and mail the book!  People who do that sort of stuff are very few and very far between.  And PBS monitors people's accounts pretty closely - if someone has too many books that never made it to the destination, they intervene.

Last Edited on: 1/4/08 10:23 AM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 10:44 AM ET
Member Since: 9/2/2006
Posts: 4,110
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Using online postage is definitely easier, and at the price of gas the small fee is defintely cheaper for me than driving to the PO.  The advantage is that yes you do get your credit faster, except for occasional glitches in the begining, now I get my credit by the end of the day I mail. 

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 10:59 AM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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thats another Q i have..it says if you use DC you get instant (or quikc) credit but if you mail using pbs postage, you get your credit right away..or something like that. very confusing to me  (the difference).


the PO is about a mile from my house so thats not much of an incentive to me...BUT, the instant credit would be nice since im waiting on more than 20 credits right now. :( 


does anyone know how much the fee is that we are charged for using the service?

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 11:27 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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if you just use the DC, you get "quick credit" which means that your credit will be given to you when the book gets scanned along the way (which could be before delivery, that makes it "quick")

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 11:29 AM ET
Member Since: 1/11/2006
Posts: 7,581
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From the Help Center...

How much does it cost?

  • The Printable Postage fee is 43 cents.
    • PBS gets 27 cents of this
    • Endicia, our printable postage provider, gets 16 cents.
  • The fee to USPS is 18 cents (for the electronic DC). 
    • Delivery Confirmation is required by USPS for all printable postage, so the option to print postage without DC is not available.
Date Posted: 1/4/2008 12:41 PM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2007
Posts: 17,440
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Jessie said: "if you just use the DC, you get "quick credit" which means that your credit will be given to you when the book gets scanned along the way (which could be before delivery, that makes it "quick")"

ALSO:  You get INSTANT CREDIT when you use PBS-Postage. When you click that you mailed the book, the credit shows up immediately!

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 5:24 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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thank you so much!  

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 5:34 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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For your but the PO is a mile away remark my PO is actually less than a mile away but I almost never go there cause I can just stick the books in my mail box and my mail carrier takes them in for me. The convinience of that is worth the small fee to me cause even though its really close I dont often get a chance to get there more than once a week.

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 5:46 PM ET
Member Since: 8/23/2007
Posts: 26,510
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I could walk to my PO but I still use the PBS postage.  There is always a line, year round and I have to take 3 preschoolers with me. Fun, fun, fun.  I like being able to just drive up to the blue box or stick it in my mail box.

If someone prints the postage and doesn't mail the book: eventually the book would go lost and the requestor would get their credit back and the sender would lose a credit, plus be out the postage they bought. So it's unlikely that someone would make a habit out of doing that.

Date Posted: 1/4/2008 6:22 PM ET
Member Since: 8/9/2005
Posts: 20,024
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Actually Mary the DC garuntees a credit even if the book goes lost BUT if the person builds up a pattern of lost books they will be spotted and their account will be taken care of.

Subject: Printable postage
Date Posted: 1/7/2008 12:49 AM ET
Member Since: 11/18/2005
Posts: 5,459
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When I send books, I like the printable postage.  I swing through the blue box on the way to work and it is on it's way.

The small fee is worth it to me and it is a way to support PPS.

Date Posted: 1/8/2008 4:50 PM ET
Member Since: 7/25/2006
Posts: 1,168
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can i tag a question along with these?

i mail using bubble mailers.  for funzies, i printed out a delivery confirmation label & took the package to the post office. there was a noticable price difference between what printed on the label and what i actually paid (media mail, delivery confirmation, one standard sized paperback, not overly large).

so i've been taking all my books to the post office and mailing from the window because i'm afraid they'll come back marked "postage due".

is it because of my bubble mailers? and if it is, is it okay to cut out the part of the label where it tells me how much postage to use?

did any of that make sense? lol thanks!

Date Posted: 1/8/2008 5:00 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2006
Posts: 877
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Yes, Paula, it made sense :-)

A standard sized paperback with a bubble mailer is not likely to go over a pound, so the weight of the bubble mailer should not be an issue.

Many people have posted that the PO has charged them a higher rate for DC - because the electronic DC is only 18 cents but purchased at the PO it's much more (like, in excess of 60 cents, I think).

My guess is that the PO overcharged you.  Check your receipt and give us the details, and we can try to figure it out with you.

Date Posted: 1/8/2008 8:44 PM ET
Member Since: 12/17/2007
Posts: 2,936
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Can I add a quick question about DC?  I take all of my books to the PO, so far anyway.  If I wanted to occasionally use DC (like for the swaps that I'm too chicken to get involved in), PBS charges 27 cents that they take out of my PBS money, and then I take it to the PO and the PO knows to charge me 18 cents more for DC? How do they know it's just 18 cents and not the regular 65 cents? Is this a stupid question?

Last Edited on: 1/8/08 8:45 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Date Posted: 1/8/2008 9:08 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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i understand what you guys are saying about the "small fee" but ive mailed out 30 books in the last week...if i printed out postage from pbs w/ DC, that would have cost me close to $30.  and one of the reasons i joined here was to get rid of books in exchange for books i want, w/o spending much $$$.  so, call me cheap or whatever but thats just too steep for my blood. :) (and yes, i DO know that I'm cheap!! its really OK to think that way of me! lol!)


Date Posted: 1/9/2008 9:02 AM ET
Member Since: 2/6/2006
Posts: 1,186
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Diana, if you use printable postage from PBS, the PO won't charge you any extra fees. Postage will have already been paid for through PBS. If you just print out a label with delivery confirmation, you will need to add postage. You'll take the book to the PO, they'll scan the DC barcode and your postage cost will include the .18 electronic postage fee charged by the PO.

If you take a book to the PO, ask to use delivery confirmation and they put the green DC label on it, then you'll be charged the higher PO DC rate.

The Help Center has a really great FAQ explaining the postage option at PBS. Click on the Help Center>browse Help Docs>type printable postage in the search box and then click on the FAQ.

(Sorry, I can't get my link to work so I've typed it out the long way!)


Last Edited on: 1/9/08 9:14 AM ET - Total times edited: 2
Date Posted: 1/9/2008 3:22 PM ET
Member Since: 6/23/2005
Posts: 379
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The other thing to be mindful of when printing PBS postage is what they think the book weighs. I know they are asking folks who actually have scales to correct it if it's wrong, but I had a book come up at 3.4 ounces the other day - and this was a mass-market paperback, so you KNOW it weighed more than that. If you have a scale, weigh the book and put the correct weight in. If you don't have a scale, and you're worried about postage, change the weight to over 9 ounces to "force" the system into calculating Media Mail (good up to 1 lb) instead of First Class (figured by the ounce).


Date Posted: 1/9/2008 4:46 PM ET
Member Since: 12/28/2007
Posts: 445
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oh thats a good idea too. i do have a scale.

Date Posted: 1/10/2008 3:44 AM ET
Member Since: 8/26/2006
Posts: 9,371
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Another tidbit, for those of us who like to drop our packages in the blue box rather than go into the Post Office:  if your package weighs 13 ounces or over, Homeland Security rules say you have to hand it to a clerk at the P.O.  But if you use electronic postage, including PBS printable postage, you can drop it in a blue box.

I love that part!  (I have great postal clerks at my Post Office, but the lines are long.)

So sometimes I use stamps on my lighter packages and printable postage on the heavier ones.

Date Posted: 1/13/2008 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 6/11/2006
Posts: 12,826
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also check weight because i had book that was 9 ounces and when i put in here to do instant credit it say 3 pound 8 oz      

Date Posted: 1/14/2008 9:20 AM ET
Member Since: 11/26/2006
Posts: 221
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A scale is a real necessity when using printable postage. Besides a scale comes in really handy around the house. I bought the scale several years ago when my grandson was in cub scouts and building his Pinewood Derby race cars. (They could be 5 oz--no more--to qualify).

Today I mailed a paperback in a size "0" bubble mailer--the PBS stated postage for the book alone (no envelope) was 7 oz--the actual weight in the bubble mailer was 5.1 oz.--it was a 1976 paperback and back then most books were not real thick.